STRUGGLED INDIA BEAT KIWIS IN TIE-BREAKER
Nakhon Pathom, Thailand, May 15, 2018 – India continued their unbeaten run in the “Princess Cup” 20th Est Cola South East Asian Women’s U17 Volleyball Championship at the Nakhon Pathom Sports Centre Gymnasium after pulling an epic five-set win over New Zealand on Tuesday.
The hard-fought 3-2 (25-20, 22-25, 11-25, 25-16, 15-8) win has handed India the Pool B top spot and a semi-final berth in the five-day tournament.
Fully loaded with cannons led by Elakiya M.Muthu, Ghosh Disha and Tiwari Debangshi, India made a superb start to clinch the first-set win 25-20.
New Zealand, hoping to win this match to keep their chances of advancing to the semi-finals alive, did not give up easily as they came out with an aggressive form to put pressure on the rivals. They carried out well-placed serves and solid blocking which saw them seal the next two sets 25-22, 25-11.
However, the Indians proved that they are one of the toughest teams to be reckoned with in this tournament as they stormed back mightily with powerful spikes to capture the fourth set 25-16. They still took total control in the decider, which they effortlessly won 15-8.
Elakiya M.Muthu emerged as India’s top scorer with 12 points including 10 attacks and one block, while Ghosh Disha and Tiwari Debangshi added 9 points apiece to the team’s tally. Maama Vaipulu scored a match-high 17 points including 15 kills for New Zealand.
“We knew before the match that this match wasn’t going to be an easy game. Volleyball depends on the tempo. If you lose your concentration, you will not play well like we lost to New Zealand in the third set. Today, New Zealand served very well and they put pressure on us with their great serving,” India head coach Jangra Ajay commented after the mach.
“In the semi-finals, we will continue playing the same way as we played against Kazakhstan. We will take it seriously. I hope my team will give their best to advance to the final. I think Thailand are one of the toughest teams in this tournament,” he added.
On Wednesday, India will play the Pool A second-placed team in the semi-finals.
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